Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

Labour shifts blame for sickness benefit scam

Judith Collins MP National Party Welfare Spokeswoman

28 May 2008

Labour shifts blame for sickness benefit scam to GPs

National's Welfare spokeswoman, Judith Collins, is appalled that Labour is now blaming doctors for making it easy for beneficiaries to be shifted from the unemployment benefit to the sickness benefit.

Ms Collins says Labour has spent years denying that this practice exists, despite GPs up and down the country complaining they are being pressured to give able-bodied people the green light to collect the sickness benefit.

"Now, after being exposed by Work and Income's own chief health advisor, David Bratt, who admits the practice is 'regularly brought to our attention', and that Work and Income staff need more training in this area, Labour says it will produce a handbook for GPs to help them determine whether someone is too sick to work.

"I am sure doctors will be shocked that Labour is questioning their ability to make a medical assessment. GPs don't need handbooks.

"What they need is for the Labour Government to admit it is turning a blind eye to a practice which doctors say is rife in some areas of the country.

"They need Ruth Dyson and Work and Income to admit they are failing beneficiaries and failing doctors because Labour is more focused on pushing people on to sickness benefits to make unemployment benefit numbers look better."

Ms Collins says that Darren Hughes, in answering on behalf of Ruth Dyson today, told Parliament that Labour hadn't received any 'actual letters' about the practice and added 'we've been having conversations, obviously' [with GPs].

"No amount of sophistry is going to pull Labour out of this mess. Work and Income's own health expert is now contradicting the Government's claim.

"I have been stonewalled for years by Labour, which has continually claimed there is no evidence doctors are being pressured. It is now time for Ruth Dyson to release all the information held by her department regarding this practice.

"If Work and Income's chief health advisor claims Work and Income is very aware of doctor bullying, and that it regularly gets brought to the department's attention, it defies belief that there is no paper trail.

"Ruth Dyson must come clean."

ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Another Leader Exiting: Statement From Peter Dunne

I have concluded, based on recent polling, and other soundings I have been taking over the last few weeks, that, the volatility and uncertainty notwithstanding, there is now a mood amongst Ōhāriu voters for a change of MP, which is unlikely to alter...

“I have therefore decided that it is time for me to stand aside, so the people of Ōhāriu can elect a new electorate MP. More>>

 

Gordon Campbell: On Labour’s Campaign Launch

One of the key motifs of Ardern’s speech was her repeated use of the phrase – “Now, what?” Cleverly, that looks like being Labour’s response to National’s ‘steady as it goes’ warning against not putting the economic ‘gains’ at risk. More>>

ALSO:

Lyndon Hood: Social Welfare, Explained

Speaking as someone who has seen better times and nowadays mostly operates by being really annoying and humiliating to deal with, I have some fellow feeling with the current system, so I’ll take this chance to set a few things straight.. More>>

ALSO:

Deregistered: Independent Board Decision On Family First

The Board considers that Family First has a purpose to promote its own particular views about marriage and the traditional family that cannot be determined to be for the public benefit in a way previously accepted as charitable... More>>

ALSO:

Transport Policies: Nats' New $10.5bn Roads Of National Significance

National is committing to the next generation of Roads of National Significance, National Party Transport Spokesperson Simon Bridges says. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Why Labour Isn’t Responsible For Barnaby Joyce

As a desperate Turnbull government tries to treat the Barnaby Joyce affair as a Pauline Hanson fever dream – blame it on the foreigners! We’re the victims of the dastardly New Zealand Labour Party! – our own government has chosen to further that narrative, and make itself an accomplice. More>>

ALSO:

Rail: Greens Back Tauranga – Hamilton – Auckland Service

The Green Party today announced that it will trial a passenger rail service between Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga starting in 2019, when it is in government. More>>

ALSO:

Housing: Voluntary Rental Warrant Of Fitness For Wellington

Wellington City Council is partnering with the University of Otago, Wellington, to launch a voluntary Rental Warrant of Fitness for minimum housing standards in Wellington, Mayor Justin Lester has announced. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election